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Cambodian Khmer Fusion Wedding | Bryan & Vesna | Old Timer’s Cabin

Cambodian Khmer Fusion Wedding | Old Timer’s Cabin

Bryan & Vesna’s wedding was my first experience with a Khmer fusion wedding and they mixed traditional Cambodian &  Vietnamese ceremonies in with the traditional Western wedding. It was a super fun day full of colour! We had a little bit of bad luck with trying to do wedding party photos from all the locations being full for festivals to fire alarms going off to evacuate us from the University but it all turned out beautifully! You might remember Bryan & Vesna from the awesome secret proposal we photographed too!

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Wedding Vendors:

Bride’s Hair:  My bridesmaids Karen and Nancy did my hair
Bride’s Make-up:  I did it
Bridesmaids Hair & Make-up:  Amanda Rudanec (my brother’s fiancee) did some of their makeup; others did their own; they did their own hair
Bride’s dress: Private Label by G (Ella Rosa)
Bride’s shoes: Guess
Bride’s accessories (jewellery, garter, etc.): Tiffany & Co. pearl necklace, earrings, and bracelet; wedding band set from Tiffany & Co.
Bridesmaid’s attire (dresses, shoes, jewellery, etc):  Alfred Angelo 7289L dresses in Aqua; their own assortment of shoes and jewellery
Groom’s attire: Ike Behar Slim Fit Parker Tuxedo (rental from The Bridal Centre in Calgary)
Groom’s accessories (cufflinks, tie, etc.): cufflinks and bowtie were rentals from The Bridal Centre (Calgary, AB)
Groomsmen’s attire: RW&Co Preston suit in Charcoal; RW&Co silk tie
Florals/bouquets: crepe roses and flowers made by bride and bride’s mom; bouquet was assembled by groom’s aunt (Marquis)
Cake/Cupcakes: fake fondant cake made by bride who was too cheap to buy a real cake and spent the money on Upper Crust cakes instead
Ceremony Venue: Old Timers’ Cabin
Reception Venue: Old Timers’ Cabin
Linens/Decor: linens rented from Old Timers’ Cabin; lights from Restoration Hardware; decorations made by bride and bride’s mom
Cambodian attire, music, and decor, and videographer:  all rentals from Sambath Chheng (Red Deer) – Yes his last name is spelled with 2 H’s and he and his wife run their business from home

From the Couple:

What were you most looking forward to on your wedding day? celebrating the day with family and friends
What ended up being your favourite moment(s) of the day (both answer)? Bryan: my feats of strength (picking up Vesna during the first dance) ; Vesna: my mom crying, me crying during the ceremony, me crying during my best friend Laura’s gut-wrenching speech, the performances and dancing provided by both sides of our families during the hair cutting ceremony (who knew everyone loved to act in front of a crowd?!)
What was the song you chose for the processional? Groom: Vitamin String Quartet rendition of Sweet Child of Mine (Guns ‘n Roses); Bridal Party: 2Cellos rendition of With or Without You (U2); Bride: Daniel Jang rendition of Ed Sheeran’s Thinking Out Loud; Outtro: Daniel Jang rendition of Sam Smith’s Stay With Me
What was the song you chose for your first dance? Ed Sheeran’s Thinking Out Loud
How did you choose your colour scheme/theme for the wedding? I love mint green and used a palette of black or charcoal, white, and mint to create a crisp, cool tone for the bridal party.   I wanted to keep things simple but fun so lots of twinkly lights, candles, and whimsical cake and fingerprint guest tree.

Where are you going for your honeymoon? We already went – two week road trip to the Southern USA to enjoy sun, rollercoasters, Southern comfort food, and Texas BBQs! (Georgia, Florida, Louisiana, Alabama, and Texas)

About the ceremonies:

Cambodian ceremonies traditionally take 2-3 days – ours was abbreviated down to a few hours that included some of the major traditions.  The bride may have up to ten dress changes, I did five (actually never wore the sixth one), plus the Vietnamese tea ceremony and the white wedding (so I guess that’s seven!). The men wear traditional sarongs. The outfits are meant to be colourful, and the bride is adorned with gold and jewels.

Cambodian Ceremony:

Groom’s Processional (Parade) and Presenting the Dowry
The groom and his entourage comes bearing gifts to the bride’s home (aka the cabin). Upon arrival at the home, gifts are presented to the bride’s family, parents of the bride and groom were honoured, and rings were exchanged. The number of gifts indicates the wealth of the groom – the trays of meats, fruits, pastries, drinks, and desserts are given in pairs.

Hair Cutting Ceremony
The symbolism of this ceremony is to cleanse the couple of the past and help them prepare for their new life together.  Family and guests pretend to cut the bride and groom’s hair and spray perfume on them. Traditionally, the bridge and groom wear outfits of gold and yellow.  Retrieving the gold or silver rings is to signify that the couple will have a prosperous life.

Passing the Blessings (Seven Rotations)

Married guests sit around the bride and groom as the sacred flame is rotated seven times around the new couple. The smoke of the flame, however, is sacred enough to protect them from all evils if they are sincerely committed to each other. Family members who receive the candle motion their hands over the flame to guide the smoke of the sacred flame over the bride and groom. This symbolizes the passing of blessings or luck to the new young couple.

Knot Tying Ceremony

While the bride and groom’s wrists are tied with the blessing strings, the following song is sung: “We tie, we tie three strings to each wrist of our children. We wish for true happiness and success to this couple, who will always be together like wet grass seeds. We tie your left wrist to make you remember your parents. We tie your right wrist to make you carry on the family lineage and traditions.” At the end, guests throw white seeds traditionally at the couple (we used flower petals).  It is considered lucky for the bride and the groom if they leave the red strings on for as long as they can.

Eating Breakfast

The bride and groom feed each other fruits like the banana.  The guests cannot eat until the bride and groom have eaten breakfast.  It’s meant to be playful and teasing the couple with games.

Vietnamese Ceremony:

Tea ceremony

The bride and groom, in front of their guests, will serve tea to their parents. Each parent will then give advice about marriage and family to the couple.

Thank you to Chelsey for being my awesome second shooter for this wedding!

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